*This is Moses' sermon!!! Be blessed

THEME: Unity Text Ephesians 4:1 -7


Introduction:
The Epistle to the Ephesians was a letter written by Paul to the church in Ephesus (modern Turkey). It was written while he was in prison in Rome.

On his second visit early in the following year, he remained at Ephesus "three years," For he found it was the key to the western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great and effectual door" was opened to him (1 Cor 16:9), and the church was established and strengthened by his assiduous labors there (Acts 20:20, 31).

That is a bit of history of the Ephesians church.

Today I will focus on Chapter 4. About UNITY,
For me each member of the church or family has the effort to do something together for others. In other words, they vow to stand together in their common fight. As I thought about this passage of Scripture, I realize that this is what the Apostle Paul is trying to get the Ephesians church to adopt as their motto.

 These verses tell us that unity is not just a possibility; it is a divine requirement if we are to be everything God wants us to be as a church.

     Notice Paul’s use of the word “therefore” in verse one. This word draws our attention back to the previous chapters, where Paul has been laying a foundation of biblical, Christian doctrine. As he begins his remarks in chapter 4, Paul is saying that there is no divorcing Christian doctrine from Christian duty! He is saying, “You know the truth, now walk in it!” The bottom line is this: Where there is genuine faith, there will be genuine works to back it up! James 2:18.

  I want to take this passage and talk to you on the thought: “UNITY.” Being one in the Lord is God’s will for His people, Phil 1:27; 1 Cor. 1:10, and I want to show you how it is possible. That is a tall order, but this passage gives us the necessary details. Notice the truths that are contained in this passage.

But before I speak about the passage, I will like to introduce the word unity. What does it means? (Meaning of UNITY)
Uncountable) oneness; state of being one or undivided; united in mind or purpose


I. THE SOURCE OF CHRISTIAN UNITY (v. 4-7)

What is the basis for our unity? I mean, we all come here today from different backgrounds, different cultural foundations, different economic backgrounds, different lifestyles, etc. How can we possibly find any common ground?

A. We Share Common Ground (vv. 4-6):
The night before Jesus was crucified, He prayed for His people. In John 17, one of the things He prayed for us that His people would be “one”, John 17:20-23. To ensure that we would have the foundation upon which build in unity, the Lord provided us with 7 great possessions that every Christian in this room shares in Him. 

(Note: One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. Did you notice that everything is about Him? When our lives, our desires, our will, our interests, etc, stop being about Him and start to focus on us, we are headed for trouble!) As believers, we may come from different places, but we stand on common ground!


B. We Share Common Grace (v.7):
Verse 7 begins a new thought, in which Paul will speak of the spiritual gifts that are given to the ministers of the church to profit the church. Of course, it is good to note here that every believer possesses at least one spiritual gift, 1 Cor. 12:4-27. That gift that you have been given was given to you to use for the glory of God and to be a blessing to the church! As each believer uses the gifts he or she is given, the unity of the church is strengthened and the church is helped!
It is sad when believers fail to exercise their spiritual gifts, or when they use them to tear down instead of build up!

(Note: The source of our unity lies in what we share in common and in the fact that we have each been especially equipped by the Lord to be a blessing and a help to the church!)

II. THE SECRET OF CHRISTIAN UNITY (vv. 2-3)

A. V. 2 We Must Exercise The Right Walk:
The apostle does not tell us to “make” unity! Unity already exists in God’s church, our duty is to manifest it and maintain it! Notice how this is done.

1. Lowliness:
This word means, “Humility; an accurate understanding of your own moral smallness.” In essence, it means you realize your own insignificance while you see the worth of others, Phil. 2:4! It’s not “How great I am!” It’s “I am what I am by the grace of God!” it’s about us getting off our pedestal and realizing that were it not for the grace of God, we would still be a hell bound sinner living for the devil! Having a “lowly” spirit keeps me reminded of the fact that I am just one heartbeat away from failing God myself, therefore, I won’t look down my nose at others who may have fallen!

2. Meekness:
 This word means “gentleness; power under control.” It refers to having the power to react against others, but refusing to for the sake of Christ! Sometimes, it means keeping your mouth shut, instead of setting someone else straight. Sometimes it means reacting with honey when you want to react with vinegar! It means being sweet toward others!
 
(Note: When you are “meek and lowly” you are in good company, Matt. 11:29! By the way, meekness is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” Gal. 5:22-23!)

 3. Longsuffering:
 This word means “patience, endurance”. It literally means “to be long tempered.” It refers to having a long fuse! Do you have a long fuse or a short fuse? What does it take to get you riled up? If we are going to promote unity in the church, then we must learn to be long tempered!

4. Forbearing in Love:
 The word “forbearing” means “to endure, or to put up with”. It means giving people space to be themselves. You see, the word “love” refers to God’s kind of love. It is a love that is unconditional and eternal. It doesn’t end based on what others do, but it remains constant and strong in spite of injury! Basically, this phrase calls on believers to give one another to right to be different, to hold different opinions, and generally, to be themselves!
                
B. V. 3 We Must Embrace The Right Work:
 Maintaining unity in the church requires more than just a change in the way we walk. Unity in the church requires hard work! The word “endeavoring” means “to exert oneself”. We are called upon in this verse to “keep”, “to guard; to keep as a prisoner”, the “unity of the Spirit”. In other words, we are to work hard to ensure that the unity the Spirit of God wants to produce within the church is unhindered and unbroken! How are we to do this? By maintaining the “bond of peace.” “Bond” refers to “that which binds something together”. We might call it “glue”! “Peace” simply refers to “harmony between individuals”. As we determine within our hearts that we will walk in love toward one another, we will be exerting ourselves to see that the Spirit’s purpose in our church is carried out! 

III. THE SATISFACTION OF CHRISTIAN UNITY (v. 1)

(Note: If we decide to walk in unity, one with another, what is the payoff? What’s in it for the church if we do the hard work of walking in unity?)

A. We Will Live A Balanced Life:
The word “worthy” has the idea of “balance”. In other words, as you and I walk together, in lock step, as a team, for the glory of God, we are declaring to a watching world that what we have is real! You see, nothing proclaims the genuineness of our faith like our open, unconditional love for our brothers and sisters in Jesus, John 13:35!

 B. We Will Live A Blessed Life:
 As we walk in unity, we will be what the Lord saved us to be: living proof that Jesus makes a difference in all those He touches! Your life, my life and the life of this church will trumpet to a lost world that we are different, we are saved, and we are in this thing together for the glory of God! Being united won’t make you rich, beautiful or famous, but it will bring honor to God and it will draw the Lord’s blessings in this direction.
 (Note: If we choose to walk in disunity, don’t be surprised if the Lord doesn’t bless and we would like Him to!)


CONCLUSION:

“Unity!” Is that the motto of your heart this morning?
Paul warned the Ephesians elders in Acts 20 that after his departure wolves would come, not sparing the flock. Wolves continue to attack the church today, but they cannot penetrate and destroy when the church stands together in unity. However, when believers break ranks with one another, they provide the enemy with easy prey!

     It may be that you are hear today and your feelings have been hurt by others in the church, and you haven’t been as loving and as forgiving toward that person as the Lord wants you to be. Why not get that settled today. It may be that other here have been on the offending end of the situation, why don’t you come before the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness. It may be that what you folks need to do this morning is have an old-fashioned neck-hugging, tear-jerking, snot-slinging time of just loving on one another! I guarantee you the devil won’t like it, but the Lord surely will!

     Still others may have come into the house of the Lord lost today. I want to invite you to come to Jesus Christ today. He died for you on the cross and if you will come to him in faith, He will save your soul! Whoever you are and wherever you may stand before the Lord today, if you have a need in your heart, then you come!